In an effort to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, many people are ordering goods online to avoid crowded stores and other public places. Social distancing in this nature is recognized as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent widespread infection. However, the packages you receive via a shipping and transportation service Calumet Park IL have been handled by a lot of people between their origination point and eventual destination. Should you disinfect these packages before opening them?
Reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the New England Journal of Medicine agree that the risk of contracting COVID-19 from packages or mail is very low. The concern is that droplets exhaled by an infected person could land on the packaging. When you handle the package, there may be a possibility that the virus could transfer to your hands and then to your nose, mouth, and eyes if you touch your face thereafter.
However, viruses do not survive for very long outside the body. Studies have shown that the novel coronavirus doesn’t survive as long on a porous surface like cardboard as on nonporous steel or plastic. It was detectable on cardboard up to 24 hours after exposure, but may not be able to still cause infection. Furthermore, the porous nature of cardboard means that any droplets tend to absorb into the material.
While there may be no harm in disinfecting packages, experts believe it is more important to practice vigilant hand hygiene. After opening a package, dispose of the packing material right away, then wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. If you placed the package on a surface to open it, you should disinfect this as well with a cleanser shown effective at deactivating the novel coronavirus.
Because the virus can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard, you may choose to leave the package outside for a day, but experts believe hand hygiene is more important.